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Susan Strauber

Senior Faculty

Susan Strauber is professor of art history with senior faculty status. For much of her career, her scholarship was concerned with the historical and critical examination of the paintings of Eugène Delacroix; the problematic estate stamp on Delacroix drawings and the construction of Delacroix's artistic identity; and the connoisseurship of Delacroix’s prints (The Graphic Art of Eugène Delacroix, a revision and translation of Loys Delteil’s Delacroix catalogue raisonné). 

Her recent research addresses theoretical and contextual issues involved in situating Edouard Manet’s early portraiture within the emergence of avant-garde painting in the 1860s: "Suffering in Silence: Disease and Disability in Manet’s Early Portraiture" and "Manet's Portrait of Jeanne Duval. Baudelaire's Mistress Reclining: Femininity, Modernity and New Painting." In progress is a consideration of exchanges between Manet and Gustave Courbet as a site of intersection within the reconfiguration of sociability, commerce, leisure and transnationalism in 1860s and 1870s Europe. 

Strauber joined the Grinnell College faculty in 1980. She served in many capacities in the Art Department and in the college for more than three decades. Her teaching included courses in art history on nineteenth century painting, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the history of women artists, as well as several interdisciplinary ventures (Medieval and Renaissance Culture; Images: Reality and Illusion (art history and physics)). Her advanced seminars focused on theories and practices of romanticism, portraiture, Manet and modernism, and issues of body and space in later nineteenth century painting. For the college's Grinnell-in-London semester, Professor Strauber taught several times throughout England and Wales on Constable and Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Museums in Modern Society. 

Professor Strauber was instrumental in developing and expanding the art history program at Grinnell and in devising Grinnell's distinguished exhibition seminar for undergraduates. In this hands-on, collaborative course, students plan, organize, and research an exhibition using works drawn from the Grinnell College Art Collection. Students in the seminar have the rare opportunity to participate in the design and installation of a show and to write an accompanying exhibition catalogue (e.g., I saw it: The Invented Reality of Goya’s Disasters of War, Faulconer Gallery, 2004). 

Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-3084

faculty info column 1

On-Campus Address: 

FLR1, Main Hall
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Education / Degrees: 

Ph.D. in art history from Brown University

Courses Taught: 

Introduction to Art and Art History
19th Century Painting: Romanticism and Realism
The Pre-Raphaelites
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Women, Art and History
"I saw this (Yo lo vi): Goya's Disasters of War
The Romantic Encounter with Nature: Constable and Turner
Museums: The Display of Culture
Museums in Contemporary Society
Rethinking Manet and Modernism
Body and Space in 19th century Painting c 1860-1900
Images of City and Country in 19th and 20th Century Art
Fact, Fiction, and Fabrication in Nineteenth Century Prints
Medieval and Renaissance Culture (1100-1650)
Portraiture: Mask or Mirror?
Painting Modernity
Images, Reality and Illusion
Confronting the Modern Worl
Visions of Utopia in Art and Architecture
How Do Paintings Mean?

Primary Academic Interest: 

Nineteenth century painting
particularly Eugène Delacroix
Édouard Manet
and the origins of modernity